#Blacklivesmatter and so do Sacred Sites

It’s never a good time to be a part of a minority in a majority culture. The last couple of weeks have been a particularly bad time to be an African American, or a member of the Puntu Kunti Kurruma people from Western Australia.

The murder of George Floyd by police, so soon after the murder of Ahmaud Abery has resulted in protests and riots in the US. I’m not a political commentator, nor am I in the US so I’m not going to comment on the violence at all. What I will say is that black lives matter. African Americans should be able to go for a jog without being murdered. African Americans should be able to be arrested on suspicion of a crime and not be murdered.

I’ve been listening to The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, which details the migrations of African Americans from the south to the north as Jim Crow laws were put into place. I’m not far into it, and some of the details are truly horrifying.

And then I have to remember the treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by white Australians over the last 200 + years is equally horrific. The First Nations folks weren’t even considered people until the referendum in 1967, only 6 years before I was born. Most of the really bad stuff isn’t recorded by the white people, and you will only hear by engaging with the stories of the people who lived it, or their descendants. I don’t remember learning in school that out west, white people would go out shooting Aboriginal men, women and children the way they would kangaroos. And yet that happened.

In Australian news this week, Rio Tinto destroyed a 46000 year old sacred site. They were allowed to, they had a contract.

What sort of bullshit is this? I know that capitalism rules the world but would this have happened if some white ‘explorer’ had carved his initials into a tree here? (Not the best example, but you get my point.)

The colour of your skin should not determine whether or not your cultural heritage is valued, respected and treasured.

The colour of your skin should not mean that you run a higher risk of ending up in jail than your white neighbour.

The colour of your skin should not mean you are going to be shot when you are going for a run.

When will it be enough?

I would urge you, if you can, to donate to one of the many charities or the gofundme account started by Floyd’s family. This site seems to have some great suggestions.

If you’re in Australia (or even if you’re not) I would strongly urge you to #paytherent by donating to an ATSI charity or supporting ATSI businesses. There are some great suggestions here.

But, I am a book blogger so I can suggest books. Support writers and their work and educate yourself on these matters. I know for me this is ongoing, and probably always will be.

I have put together a couple of stacks of excellent books by both Aboriginal Australians and African Americans. Have you read any of these?

I will never stop recommending the books in this stack. (Please note that The White Girl by Tony Birch would be in here as well if I owned a copy).

Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Cheers,

6 comments

  1. Thanks for your recommendations.
    Have you read Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi? I recommend it for a pre colonial Ugandan story.
    And The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Schwartz-Bart is excellent.
    I love the sound of The Yield, adding that to my TBR.
    I just read Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns and loved it? I’ve been reading a few authors of the Harlem Renaissance recently so it was great to read a nonfiction account that connected some of the dots from those reads.
    Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider is excellent.
    Everything I mention I’ve reviewed on my blog or you can look on Goodreads if anything appeals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your recommendations, they sound excellent! I have also recently read The Warmth of Other Suns and also the New Jim Crow both of which I thought were very informative and interesting. I do hope you try the Yield – it has won the major literary prize in Australia (Miles Franklin) since I posted this. 😊

      Like

      • I saw that when I went looking and was tempted to buy straight away, but 25€ a bit too pricey, may have to wait for a more reasonably priced version to come available, often the case with books from Australia sadly.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.